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[liberationtech] Assange's claim about Tor losing US government support due to WikiLeaks

Evgeny Morozov evgeny.morozov at gmail.com
Sun Feb 19 13:29:38 PST 2012


I don't think my question has implied anything improper of Tor or of Jake
(who's a friend). I was simply seeking context to Assange's statement. If
what he said about USG's motivation were true, this would have indeed been
big news; the hypothetical idea of USG cutting funding to Tor because of a
WikiLeaks connection is problematic for all three parties involved.



On Sun, Feb 19, 2012 at 12:28 PM, SiNA <sina.rabbani at gmail.com> wrote:

> can you explain why this news is such a big deal? who cares what cryptom
> thinks?
>
> Why do so many people hate Jake and Tor?
> On Feb 19, 2012 10:41 AM, "Evgeny Morozov" <evgeny.morozov at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
>> Those of you who've read Assange's recent interview with The Rolling
>> Stone<http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/julian-assange-the-rolling-stone-interview-20120118?print=true>may have noticed this claim (in response to a question about forms of
>> pressure that US government exerted on WikiLeaks and their supporters):
>>
>> The Tor Project, which protects people around the world from being spied
>>> on or censored, lost some $600,000 to the U.S. government, as a result of
>>> one of their people, Jacob Appelbaum, having filled in for me once at a
>>> conference in New York. This type of indirect pressure has been applied to
>>> a great many people.
>>
>>
>> I was a bit puzzled by it. So were people at Cryptome<http://cryptome.org/2012/01/0053.htm>,
>> who asked Tor about it. Here is what Andrew Lewman (who's on this list)
>> wrote to them:
>>
>> I read this statement as well. It is news to me that we were penalized
>> for Jacob. Maybe wikileaks has unreleased information from one of our
>> USG funders. If so, they should publish it for all to review.
>>
>>
>> Now, Andrew's statement is carefully worded, i.e. it does allow for the
>> possibility that Tor lost the USG money but they think it was not
>> Jacob/WikiLeaks-related.
>>
>> So it would be good to know whether a) Tor did lose some or all of USG
>> support between late 2010 and early 2012? and b) there is any evidence
>> to link this to WL, as Assange did?
>>
>> Whatever the motivation, USG cutting support to circumvention tools is a
>> big news item all in itself, regardless of the link to Assange. I wonder
>> why it wasn't more widely reported, if true - perhaps, by Tor project
>> itself?-  because ultimately this would all be visible on Tor's financial
>> statements.
>>
>> Evgeny
>>
>>
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